Ramzan is a much-awaited month when according to the great poet Jalaluddin Rumi, fasting comes, the soul escapes from separation and binds nature’s hands, the heart of error is defeated and the army of faith wins. The faithful are advised to make the most of Ramzan as it is like a rare flower that blossoms once a year and just as one begins to smell its fragrance, it disappears for another year.
The localities with a large number of Muslim and Bohra residents such as Bohrawadi, Mullatalai, and Khanjipeer as some other small pockets, start humming with activities well in advance and there is a feeling of expectancy in the air. For the Bohras, Ramzan starts two days earlier than for Muslims.
Shops selling necessary articles needed during Ramzan do brisk business. Groups of young men go around the town waking up Rozadars to have Sehri in time. At many places can be heard the voice of ‘fakirs’ asking for alms- ‘de Allah ke nam par, tujhe Allah dega’. The number of those who go to mosques increases.
Abdul Kareem Diwan says that in Islam there comes the month of Ramzan during which it is the duty of every person, who is fifteen-years and more than that to fast from Sadik (dawn break) to sun set. One can take light food before and after these timings. The month of Ramzan has been divided into there equal parts. Fasting for the first ten days invites divine grace and blessings. Doing so for the next ten days, results in forgiveness of sins and fasting for the last ten days prevents one from going to Jahannum (hell).
Ramzan is a month for charity. It is mentioned in Islamic law that Jakat aims at making a ‘fakir’ a rich man. The giver of Jakat should be an adult Muslim, who is sane. Only those things that are neessary for living such as house, clothes, domestic goods, vessels used for cooking and eating can be given but not items like cots and fans. Persons eligible for receiving ‘Jakat’ include those who are in debt and who do not have cloth or food and are travellers. The aim of ‘Jakat’ is to bing about equality among men. Not giving it makes one a sinner.
During the month of Ramzan man was given the holy Quran as a divine gift. Lakhs of Muslims have learnt it by heart and they are called Hafize Quran. The holy Quran lights up the path of Muslims and followers of even other religions find it an excellent spiritual guide. There is a deep relationship between the Quran and Ramzan. It is considered to be highly auspicious to study thirty chapters at least once during the thirty days of Ramzan making it a part of their lives. Rozadars listen to recitation of this holy scripture, and take part in Tarawih prayers.
The Jummas (Fridays) that fall during Ramzan have special importance. On the first Friday, Rozadars come to the mosques such as Dholi Baori Masjid, Mullatalai Masjid, Khanjipeer Masjid and Ayad Masjid in larger number to pray and listen to the Khutba. Special dishes are prepared and sent to relatives. The Manjhala Roza, the 14th one, is also celebrated with great enthusiasm. In some mosques, the Quran is recited through out the night. The second and third Fridays are also special occasions when religious discourses are held. The last Friday of Ramzan is called Jamatul Vida. Rozadars are asked to rush to mosques leaving aside all other tasks as performing Namaz and listening to ‘Khutba’ is considered to be highly rewarding.
The word Eid means joy and happiness. In Arabic language the word ‘ood’ means that which comes once in a year. The day of Eid-ul-Fitr symbolises piety, patience, fortitude and Godliness. After the strenuous and painstaing efforts of a month-long fasting, Eid comes as a grand finale. All human activity in Islam centres round the pleasure of the Almighty and festivals are no exception. The spirit of self-introspection, self-criticism, self-correction and self-motivation percolates from Ramzan to Eid.
The evening before Eid, people gather in large number to watch the new moon or to find whether it has been sighted at some other place. The announcement that Eid would be celebrated the next day fills them with happiness and they get busy preparing for the big event during night.
Immaculately dressed, people go to mosques to offer ‘namaz’ at Idgahs and mosques. The biggest gathering is at Paltan Bazar Masjid and there are long rows of ‘namazis’ on all the nearby roads. The ‘namaz’ at the mosques such as at Savina, Raza Colony, Mullatalai, Jahangiri (Verma Colony), Pahada, Sajjangarh, Diwanshah Colony, Patel Circle, Rahman Colony, Gausia Colony, Kishanpole, Hiran Magri Sector V, Mastan Baba, Makbara Surajpole, Khanjipeer, Chamanpura are also well attended. After the ‘namaz’, people greet and hug each other. Some people visit the graveyards to pay tribute to the dead. When they return home ‘Eidi’ is given to younger ones. Sweet ‘sivaiyan’ and other delicacies are shared with friends and relatives.
The festival has become an occasion of interfaith harmony and good fellowship. Eid has also become a symbol of communal concord as on this day many Eid-Milans are organized by people from all walks of life. Eid also conveys the message of fellow feeling and understanding the unhappiness of others.